Spine Schwannoma Treatment in Northern New Jersey
Schwannomas are tumors that develop along the nerves and can cause an array of symptoms. The neurosurgeons at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics are trained to diagnose and treat tumors and other conditions in the brain and spine. CNSO offers a collaborative, patient-centric approach to spine schwannoma treatment, helping patients across Northern New Jersey receive the care they need.
Overview of Spinal Schwannomas
Schwann cells surround nerve fibers within the body, creating an insulating sheath. If these cells form tumors throughout the nervous system, they’re called schwannomas. This type of tumor commonly forms on the vestibulocochlear nerve which is in the head, however, it can also be found along the nerve roots that branch out from the spinal cord and connect it to other areas of the body. While often benign and slow-growing, these tumors may become cancerous.
Spinal schwannomas are classified into four categories:
- Type I: Spinal schwannomas are located within the dura (a membrane that surrounds the spinal cord).
- Type II: This tumor began as a Type I and then developed into a tumor with components inside and outside the spinal canal.
- Type III: Also known as a paraspinal nerve sheath tumor, the schwannoma has developed outside the spinal canal.
- Type IV: This schwannoma began as a Type III and has entered the spinal canal.
The symptoms of spinal schwannomas vary depending on the size and location of the tumor. Small schwannomas may often yield mild or no symptoms at all. However, large schwannomas can cause symptoms to arise as it puts pressure on nearby nerves or the spinal cord itself. Symptoms may include:
- Back or neck pain
- Limb pain, numbness, or weakness
- Balance issues
- Lack of hand coordination
This condition affects both men and women. It often occurs in middle-aged patients, but it may also occur in children and older adults in rare cases. While the exact cause of this type of tumor is often unknown, patients may be more susceptible to this condition if they have certain genetic disorders, such as schwannomatosis, neurofibromatosis II (NF2), or Carney complex.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Due to its variation in size and location, a schwannoma may be difficult to identify at first. However, several methods may be used to pinpoint the tumor and rule out other issues that may be causing symptoms, such as medical imaging and biopsies. Once identified, your doctor can recommend the ideal course of treatment.
Treatment options for spine schwannomas vary depending on the size and location of the tumor as well as the symptoms experienced by the patient. Common treatment options include:
- Monitoring: If the tumor is small and not causing any issues, observation could be the best course of action.
- Surgery: Pain and other severe symptoms may be a sign that surgery is necessary.
- Radiation therapy: Often recommended as a sole treatment option or in conjunction with surgery, this treatment is used to inhibit tumor growth.
If the tumor is malignant, immunotherapy and chemotherapy medications may be recommended as well.
Consult Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics
The dedicated surgical team of neurosurgeons at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics treat a wide range of tumors and have privileges at the top hospitals throughout the area. If care is needed for an NJ patient suffering from a spinal schwannoma, contact CNSO’s team of physicians, surgeons, and specialists that will work together to explore advanced treatment options and provide top patient care. Schedule an appointment today at one of the six New Jersey locations in Morristown, Hoboken, Paramus, Jersey City, Wayne, or West Orange.